Oil giant, Total, has announced plans to construct solar power plants in Nigeria as part of efforts to deliver affordable and clean energy to Nigerians.
This is even as its Nigerian arm, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG), announced that it has started delivering gas to the Alaoji power plant located near Aba, Abia state through its Northern Option Pipeline (NOPL) since October 18.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Nicolaz Terraz, made these disclosures in a paper he presented during a gas producers forum at the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 10th international conference and exhibition in Abuja.
Mr. Terraz’s paper, which was read by Patrick Olinma, the company’s Executive Director (Gas), was titled: “Harnessing Natural Gas: New Opportunities for Nigeria.”
Total recently made significant diversification of its renewable energy portfolio after acquiring majority shares (60%) of US-based SunPower, one of the world’s largest solar panel makers.
Terraz said the acquisition has made Total very active in solar power even though there’s imminent competition in Nigeria with the recent signing of 14 power agreements by solar plant developers with the federal government to generate 1,125 megawatts (MW) of power to the grid.
He, however, maintained that the bulk of electricity in Nigeria will still come from gas-fired power plants in the foreseeable future even if all of these solar plants materialize.
There had been reports about disagreement between Total and a consortium of indigenous firms, Frontier energy/ Seven energy over gas supply contracts to the Alaoji power plant but Terraz announced that “gas supply to Alaoji plant through NOPL started on 18th October 2016.”
Total, which has a domestic supply obligation to the Alaoji plant with its Joint Venture partner NNPC, built the 50 km NOPL gas pipeline to supply gas to the plant and other gas based industries in the Eastern Domestic Market.
Speaking further on opportunities for Nigeria’s energy, Terraz said that as a shareholder in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, Total fully supports the construction of Train 7.
Train 7 which will significantly boost Nigeria’s export of liquefied natural gas has being in the works for several years.
He expressed confidence in Nigeria’s future, assuring that Total will continue to invest in the country despite the challenges that continue to hinder the growth of the industry.